Fundraising · Politics

Valadao anger “all hat, no cattle,” Nunes hits $11mil mark, fundraising figures show

The surprising move by Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford) joined 10 fellow Republicans to vote to impeach President Donald Trump on his first day back in Washington after a two-year absence sparked a bevy of reactions across the political spectrum: from surprise and shock to seething anger.

The vote, many Conservative activists mused publicly and privately, would set off a revolt among Republicans in the south Valley district to find a new GOPer more in-step with the outgoing President.

The believed starting point? A suspension of giving to Valadao’s campaign coffers.

Fundraising figures for the first quarter of 2021, which were due Thursday, paint a drastically different picture from the January prognostication.

So far, one Republican has stepped up to challenge the Hanford dairyman: former Fresno City Councilman Chris Mathys, whose last political endeavor was a 2020 primary defeat in a New Mexico Congressional race.

On the left, former State Assemblywoman Nicole Parra (D–Bakersfield), who announced her run just before Valadao took his oath to return to office and left a gig as a lobbyist for Marathon Petroleum, hasn’t managed to catch fire among Democratic donors.

And former Rep. TJ Cox (D–Fresno), Valadao’s one-time successor turned predecessor, found himself bringing in far less than in past election cycles. In 2019, Cox had an average quarterly haul of $395,968.

One quarter out-of-office, his campaign is pulling in less than one-third that sum.

One week ago, Cox’s campaign issued an email hinting at an upcoming announcement from the former Congressman. No announcement has followed the teaser email.

Sources tell The Sun that the Fresno engineer and businessman will not seek a second rematch with Valadao in 2022.

Instead, Cox is expected to launch a political action committee, partially funded by his campaign war chest, in a similar vein as fellow Valley Democrat Andrew Janz’s Voter Protection Project.

Here’s a look around the other Congressional matchups in the San Joaquin Valley

California’s 10th Congressional District

California’s 16th Congressional District

California’s 22nd Congressional District

Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R–Tulare) campaign groundwork to capture the gavel of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee is well on its way.

One day after Rep. Kevin Brady (R–Texas), the most senior member on the panel, announced his retirement from the House in 2022, Nunes reports fundraising figures that puts his sizable war chest into the eight figures for the first time.

Meanwhile, Democrat Phil Arballo reported lackluster figures to kick off 2021, pointing to the possibility that utilizing Nunes as a fundraising boogeyman to pick-off small dollar donors nationwide may not have the appeal it once did during the peak of the Trump era.

California’s 23rd Congressional District

Editor’s Note: Candidates whose committees have not reported financial figures as of publication time are denoted with “DNR” under the various columns.

The author of this article was employed by Valadao during the Representative’s prior tenure in the House.

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.